Ronaldo, not Bale, may leave Real Madrid this summer, according to club insiders
Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to leave Real Madrid this summer, as it is being reported, despite Zinedine Zidane’s appointment as manager of Los Blancos. Welsh winger Gareth Bale was reportedly perturbed by Rafa Benitez’ sacking and was widely expected to be the one to leave this summer, but club insiders maintain that Ronaldo will be leaving Madrid come the end of this season.
According to Matt Law of the Telegraph, a club source at Real Madrid revealed the information, saying, “Out of Bale and Ronaldo, Ronaldo is the player expected to leave the club. Bale is still seen as the future, whereas Ronaldo’s best years may now be behind him.”
"PSG are desperate to sign him and would be favourites at the moment, but United will no doubt try.”
Ronaldo is having a relatively poor season, by his lofty standards, while Gareth Bale is gradually winning over the Bernabeu faithful with his performances this season. The Welshman is a personal favourite of Florentino Perez, who paid a world-record €100 million fee to prise Bale away from Tottenham Hotspur.
Zidane is reportedly keen on building the squad around Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema, but club officials are keen on cashing in on an aging Ronaldo, who will turn 31 next month and has suffered recurring knee problems of late. Paris St. Germain and Manchester United are keen to bring the Portuguese star to their clubs, with Madrid reportedly willing to listen to offers in the summer.
Zidane may favour team-oriented atmosphere
Rafa Benitez was reportedly keen on jettisoning Ronaldo in order to create a harmonious atmosphere in the dressing room, but the Portuguese superstar often had a comparable influence to the Spaniard. With Zidane being a big personality himself, many expect Ronaldo to clash with the Frenchman down the line.
Former Real Madrid manager Vanderlei Luxemburgo cast doubt on Ronaldo’s team ethic, saying, “Zidane was a leader in the dressing room when he was a player and Cristiano should realize that now there is a person with leadership and understanding of the game in charge,” said Luxemburgo, in a pointed reference to Benitez’ lack of standing in the dressing room.
“The changing room belongs to the players only up to a certain point, beyond that it is the manager who’s in control. Cristiano has to understand that he isn’t the manager, Zidane is.”
With Zidane now moving to assure Bale about his position at the club, Ronaldo might be insecure about his status as undisputed #1 and is set to move away from Madrid, after a record-breaking spell with Los Blancos.